Is O. J. Simpson confessing? That’s what powerhouse publisher Judith Regan teasingly promises from a new book and television extravaganza called “If I Did It.” In them, Simpson describes how he would have murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter Ronald Goldman—if he’d actually done it. Regan herself is coy about whether Simpson goes so far as to confess to the 1994 murders, but she did say Tuesday that “this is an historic case, and I consider this his confession.” Huh?
It’s unclear whether all of this is clever marketing on the part of Regan, whose roster of celebrity author clients includes Michael Moore, Eminem and porn star Jenna Jameson. But the announcement by Fox TV that it will air a “wide-ranging no holds barred” interview with O. J. (by Regan) rekindled the hysteria of what was called “The Trial of the Century.” Fred Goldman, who has long believed the acquitted Simpson killed his son, says the TV show and book are “even for [Simpson], about as low as you possibly can go.” Goldman is calling for a boycott of bookstores, which will begin selling “If I Did It” on Nov. 30, and of Fox, which will air a two-part special on Nov. 27 and 29. Says Goldman: “It’s morally reprehensible to me … to think you are willing to give somebody airtime about how they would murder two people.”
Without having seen the TV show or the book, many people close to the case were left to speculate on what “no holds barred” items O. J. might have divulged. Lawyer F. Lee Bailey, part of the “Dream Team” that represented Simpson at the 1995 murder trial, says he isn’t so sure that his former client actually confesses to the two killings, even hypothetically. Bailey tells NEWSWEEK that he spoke to Simpson about the project earlier this year, before the news broke, and that Simpson had been “under some severe restrictions about what he could say" to him. “In essence, people pushed him for a book that did not say he was innocent—no one wants to read that,” Bailey says. “So supposedly they came up with a book that says, ‘I'm innocent because if I had done it, I would have done it this way'.” After talking with Simpson, Bailey says he’s convinced “It does not say he did it.”
Read the rest, if you must.